PIPESTONE — Katrina and Mitchell Hart were thrilled to cut the ribbon Thursday and welcome the community into their new business, Finnian's Coffee House, at 101 Eighth Ave. NE in Pipestone.
"I've always wanted to own a coffee shop," Katrina, the resident coffee expert, said. Her husband, Mitchell, is more like a coffee enthusiast, as well as the business brain of the operation.
Katrina handles the daily operations of the coffee shop. Mitchell comes with business experience, as he has owned and operated UBodywork Therapy since 2014. He first opened the massage therapy business in Slayton and moved it to Pipestone in 2016, shortly before he and Katrina were married.
With the opening of Finnian's, UBodywork Therapy has moved into the same building — making 101 Eighth Avenue the only place you can get both a latte and a massage in town.
In the planning stages of their new business, Katrina and Mitchell had no trouble coming up with a name for the coffee house. Finnian's is named for their late infant son, who was born at 20 weeks.
"We wanted to honor him," Katrina said.
"It's a way to keep him remembered," added Mitchell.
The Harts opened for business Saturday and reported that their first few days were off to a great start. In fact, they already had to make a visit to their roaster in Sioux Falls to pick up more coffee.
"We've got a really good staff," Katrina said. "They're willing to learn, and they want this to succeed for themselves."
She added that to help train the 12 new employees, Finnian's is starting with a small menu, including just three sandwiches: the Arrow, a reference to the Pipestone Area Schools mascot; the Finn, named for Finnian; and the Jude, for their second son, who is 14 months old. Also on the menu are omelet bites, smoothies, scones and muffins. And, of course, coffee.
"We're going to stick with what we have and do well at it," Katrina said. Four more sandwiches will be launched in February, at which point, Katrina added, gesturing to her seven-months-pregnant baby bump, "this third child will have a sandwich debut."
The Harts hope Finnian's will show the Pipestone community that "quality coffee is a specialty and can be an art," Katrina noted.
All coffee served at Finnian's is organic and fair-trade, provided by The Source in downtown Sioux Falls.
"They're able to track each bean down the farm where it's grown," Mitchell said. He added that the particular kind of bean offered switches every four to six weeks as the economic market affects import prices, so customers can always expect something new.
Now that they're running two businesses and growing their family, the Harts say a lot of people ask how they find time to do it all.
"We're young and crazy," Katrina responds, "and we're dreamers."
Finnian's is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and offers inside service as well as a drive-thru.